Storysmith Susan Marie Frontczak takes us back to the late 1880s. Miss Clara Barton is well known as a public speaker describing the contributions that led to her being dubbed "the Angel of the Battlefield" during the Civil War. She defines her role as filling the gap "between the bullet and the hospital." But she is also ready to describe her activities after the war: First establishing and running an "Office for Missing Soldiers"—creating the first of what we now call a "Missing in Action" list; Later serving under the International Red Cross and eventually founding the American Red Cross—an undertaking that demanded educating the public, lobbying with Congress, and working with the press—all from the disadvantage-point of being a woman in a society that assigned very little power to her gender.
Hear Clara's tribute to those who serve in our armed forces—soldier, veteran, and their families. Find out how she worked her way through government red tape both to care for the wounded on the battlefield and years later to convince the United States government to bring the Red Cross to America. Her fortitude under fire and tenacious dedication to the cause of humanity stand as a role model for all time.
Storysmith® Susan Marie Frontczak is in her twenty-third year as a full-time storyteller and sixteenth as a living history presenter, having given over 700 presentations as Marie Curie, Mary Shelley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Clara Barton, and Irene Castle across 38 of the United States and nine countries abroad. Susan Marie is also dedicated to helping others bring history to life. She has been coaching storytellers for twenty-six years, Young Chautauquans for fourteen, and adults Chautauquans for nine. She authored handbooks published by Colorado Humanities in 2008, to help Young Chautauquans discover how fun and engaging history can be. When bringing history to life, Susan Marie lives up to her motto, "Give me a place to stand, and I will take you somewhere else."
The debut of Clara occurred at High Plains Chautauqua August 2014.
"Frontczak has remained an audience favorite during her five appearances at High Plains Chautauqua. Her performances are always thought provoking, educational, and engaging. In 2014, she developed Clara Barton for our Civil War theme. Her portrayal demonstrates thorough scholarship and emotional depth—Frontczak completely inhabits her character."
— Gina Huett, Colorado Humanities
"The Clara Barton presentation was the fourth visit to the Gallo Center by Susan Marie Frontczak. First there was Madame Curie, then Eleanor Roosevelt — The Great Depression, and then Eleanor Roosevelt — the War Years. All were superb. This year, we brought Ms. Frontczak back as Clara Barton and she charmed our audiences again. Our local school district sent all 6th graders to see the Arts Education presentation. The adults who attended the public performance enjoyed the show as much as the students. Ms. Frontczak is a pro!"
— Lynn Dickerson, CEO, Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto CA